Silent Valley National Park

Silent Valley

 The name Silent Valleys resonates in the mind of a nature lover for two reasons – one for the long absence of the noise of cicadas in the past and the other for the successful people’s movement which stemmed the attempt of building a dam across the pristine Kunthi, the Virgin River that burgeoned out from deep within the jungle.

With an area of more than 230 sq km, Silent Valley National Forest is a unique preserve of virgin forest in Palakkad.A trip to know her closely begins from Mukkaly outside the forest. The 23 kilometers ride up to the Sairandhri on either a bus run by the department or in one of the Eco Development Committee jeeps would provide you with enriching experiences of the jungle. At one point along the way, you could see a scatter of match-box sized houses deep in a gorge – the Karuvara tribal hamlet, the last point of civilsation.

The long trip ends at the foot of a 100 foot watch tower. Climb the spiraling stairs to watch the glory of Silent Valley. There runs indolently the Kunthi River glistening in the morning sun, gurgling out of deep woods. Get ready for a half an hour trek along the wild. The trek path is punctuated with sprawling trees with elaborate boles that could hide many a men within their folds. Walk picking the infinite, unbroken threads of birds songs, filling your lings with fresh jungle air..Soon you’d find yourself standing on a bridge laid across Kunthi.Look up and watch the  twin mounts on either side of the rive- it was here that the dam was supposed to come up, bridling the carefree course of the river and drowning everything you see around.

Environmentalists call this sanctuary an ecological island, one that contains immense biological and genetic wealth.Today,Silent Valley National Park, located on the western corner of the Nilgiris,is one of the last remnants of an undisturbed tropical evergreen rainforest. With an unbroken ecological history, which has been continuously evolving for millions of years, it is truly a unique region.

The park owes its name to the relative absence of the noisy cicada insects.Covereing an area of over 90 sq km, the evergreen forests consist of different kinds of vegetation. The Kuntipuzha River traverses the entire length of the national park’s valley.

Orchids and 960 species of other flowers bloom here. Apart from this ,there are 25 species of mammals,35 species of reptiles,95 species of butterflies and a number of rare birds. The valley’s most famous inhabitant however, is the elusive lion tailed macaque.

A trip to Sairandhri will take five hours. Advance booking over phone is available at the Silent Valley Information Centre at Mukkali.

Getting There

By Air : The nearest airport is at Coimbatore,90 km.Kozhikode is 100km.

By rail : The nearest railhead is Palakkad,58 km.Coimbatore is 90 km.

By Road : Mannarkkad – 40 km,Palakkad – 58 km,and Coimbatore – 90 km through Anakatty and Mukkali.KSRTC and private buses ply between Mannarkkad and Palakkad.Buses leave from Mannarkkad to Mukkali at one hour intervals.

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